Control Energy Costs in Your Cincinnati Area Home and Cool Efficiently Too
Heating and cooling your greater Cincinnati home accounts for nearly 50 percent of your utility bill. Here are a few steps you can take this summer to increase the energy efficiency of your air conditioner and control energy costs without sacrificing comfort.
- Schedule preventive maintenance on your cooling system. An annual tune-up goes a long way toward increasing its efficiency, preventing common air conditioning problems and lowering your cooling bill. A qualified HVAC technician will tighten electrical connections, remove damaging dust from essential components, flush your condensate drain and lubricate the moving parts of the system to prevent friction, in addition to other important routine maintenance and safety tasks.
- Check your air filter each month and replace it when it’s dirty. Your air filter prevents dust from building up inside your system, which can cause the premature failure of the fan, motor and condenser. A dirty filter also impedes the flow of air to your system and makes it work harder to keep you cool, raising your energy costs and lowering your comfort level. Choose a good-quality, pleated air filter with a rating of at least 5 on the minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, scale, which measures a filter’s effectiveness at trapping small particles. A clean filter will also improve your indoor air quality.
- Install a programmable thermostat. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save you a considerable amount of money on energy costs by ensuring higher thermostat settings while you’re away and maintaining optimum comfort while you’re home.
- Seal air leaks. Sealing gaps around windows, doors and service entrances, as well as leaky ducts, can improve the efficiency of your cooling system by at least 20 percent. Seal around stationary components of windows and doors with caulk and install weatherstripping between movable parts. Seal loose joints in your ducts with metal tape or mastic duct sealant.